Af Somali



Mid ka mid ah madaxda Xarunta Cilmi Baarista iyo Wada Tashiga (CRD) ee magaaladda Muqdisho, Jibril Ibraahim Cabdulle, oo ay BBC-du waraysatay ayaa waxa uu ka warramay dhibaatooyinka horyaalla dowladda la filayo

Remarks By H.E. Seyoum Mesfin

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic Of Ethiopia

22 July 2004

Honorable Colleague Ali Abdi Farah
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Int. Cooperation of the ROD.
Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka,
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the ROK,
Distinguished Ministers of the ROD
Excellencies, Honorables and international organizations accredited to Djibouti
Distinguished members of IPF.

His Excellency President Ismail Omar Guelleh,
President of the Republic of Djibouti,

Distinguished Guests,
Dear Members of the Business Community of Somalia,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, let me express my pleasure at being here in Djibouti for this important meeting of the business community of Somalia, the IGAD Ministerial Facilitation Committee and the Representatives of the IPF.

Mr. President, we all know that Somalia is close to your heart. You have made personal sacrifices to assist Somalia. The People and Government of Djibouti have made tremendous sacrifices for Somalia.

Let me express our deep appreciation fort the decision taken by the government of Djibouti to host this meeting. You will also agree with me that our meeting today is very significant given our expectation of the crucial role that could be played by the business community in the future reconstruction of Somalia, which cannot be achieved without full participation.

Today Somalia needs the vital contribution of all segments of its society of which the business community is an important element. We have no illusions that peace will be realized fully in Somalia without active participation of the business community, whose role in bringing about national reconciliation is decisive as it is in disarmament, reconstruction and peace building.

q Somalia today is the only nation in the world without a functioning government
q Imagine a Somali child who was seven years old in 1991, is by now in his twenties but leading a precarious life without going to formal education.
q Imagine Somali children born since 1991 who are teenagers by now and serving in youth militias as child soldiers. Somalia lost a generation.

I am extremely delighted to share with you our satisfaction at the progress so far achieved in the peace process currently underway in Mbagathi, Kenya. The National Reconciliation Conference is now in its third and final phase and all the Somali clans are in the process of distribution and selection of the 275 members of parliament. We are hopeful that by the end of this month we will have the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somali in Place.

While much has been done in Mbagathi already, it is nonetheless obvious that what remains to be done is even more daunting. The challenge you face is building the Somali State from the ashes after fourteen years of anguish and national humiliation. This exercise is not going to be easy and no breakthrough can be achieved in this regard without the full commitment of all Somali actors including enthusiastic involvement of the Somali business community in the peace process.

At no time has Somalia needed the services of its business community more than it does now. First of all for peace for national reconciliation. And then for rebuilding Somalia’s state institutions and for reviving, with the support of the international community, Somalia’s economy, without which there can be neither peace nor durable national reconciliation.
q Somalia’s leaders (Political or Business) have failed in their people and nation.
q The region and the international community have also failed Somalia.

This must be turned around. It is recognized of this fact that we all have come together to assist Somalia.

Excellency President Ismail Omar Guelleh,
Dear Friends,
No matter how much the road ahead might not be all that smooth; there is ample reason for greater optimism in Somalia than any time in the last close to fourteen years.

First of all, the countries of the sub-region are ready to stand behind the people of Somali in unison. What we have started doing over the last few months has made it all too apparent that the people of Somalia can count fully on the Facilitation committee to discharge its responsibilities. This is a tremendous achievement for the regional states. It is with great pleasure now that I am reaffirming to you we in the sub-region are united in all our efforts to help Somalia regain its rightful place in the community of nations. No doubt, the unity of purpose displayed by the member states of IGAD since last May has been instrumental in achieving positive progress in the National Reconciliation Conference.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is also clear that the international community has begun to show greater determination than before to make a difference for peace in Somali. We continue to get assurances from our partners, with whom we have begun to work very closely, that Somalia can count on the support of the international community to ensure that the government that will be established would be viable and that it would not face complications because of lack of resources which will be critical particularly during the initial period after its establishment.

Let me reiterate how important this meeting is, for which we are extremely grateful to H.E. President Ismail Omar Guelleh. It is my earnest hope that this will be a successful event. Before concluding, I would like to reaffirm Ethiopia’s commitment to do whatever is necessary, along with the countries of the sub-region, for peace in Somalia and for national reconciliation. I would like also to express my sincere appreciation and many thanks to UNDP for joining hands with IGAD in facilitating this important forum, the High-level Dialogue with the Somali business community.

I thank you!

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